In this article we discuss Designing Success: Marketing Strategies for IT Businesses.
As more of our lives and what we do become increasingly intertwined with digital technologies, there are more businesses offering a range of IT services hitting the market. This means the information technology industry is currently experiencing significant growth and it is happening rapidly.
According to Grand View Research, the global IT services market is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 9.1% from 2023 to 2030, with the total market value landing at around $1,598.41 billion by 2030.
While this is ultimately a good thing for anyone in the IT business, it does mean that the competition is getting steep and will only get steeper. As such, now is the ideal time for IT companies to start stepping up their marketing game.
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What is IT Marketing and Why Is it Important?
Marketing, in the general sense, can work the same across the board for any industry. However, as IT companies are in the business of providing advanced tech services, their marketing should reflect that by being more advanced and strategic as well. Having more strategic marketing will also become a necessity for companies that hope to have a future by staying ahead of the competition that will rise in the next few years.
So IT marketing is simply marketing but more advanced. It requires more of an investment in time and effort to ensure your marketing initiatives have the most potential to engage buyers. Your marketing efforts need to show that your brand is innovative and a thought leader, and that your solution is unique and is the best solution to help the buyer achieve their goals.
Leveraging smart marketing for your IT business is important because of hyper-competition. Now or in the coming years, there will be numerous other companies doing the same thing as you, so the only thing that might set you apart is your marketing strategy.
Even if you offer a unique set of services and have yet to see any competition, it’s crucial that you start working on your marketing now. There will come a time when your services are no longer unique, so it’s better to gain an edge with your marketing while you are already ahead.
Top Marketing Strategies for IT Companies
Without a strategic marketing plan, IT companies can struggle to reach the right audiences. With a solid marketing strategy, however, you can increase your brand awareness, expand your reach, target the right audiences on the right channels, and leverage yourself in the market to stay ahead of the competition.
Below are five key marketing strategies to help you achieve these goals and set your IT business up for success:
1. Marketplace and Consumer Research
Every marketing strategy should start with research so you can better understand your market, your audience, and your competition. You don’t necessarily need to spend weeks or even months on this phase of your marketing plan, but enough time that you have a good idea of what’s trending in your market, what buyers want and are looking for, and what your competition is doing. This will enable you to create a more strategic marketing campaign that allows you to take advantage of trends, connect with your target audience, and match (or go beyond) your competition.
Whether you are just starting out or have been in the IT business for some time now, your branding is crucial as it can play a significant role in how you stand out to your audience. Lackluster branding that doesn’t grab your audience’s attention will affect your sales and brand awareness.
Your branding is the first thing that most people notice and is often the thing that leaves the most lasting impression. This is why so many other tech companies put a lot of effort into their logos, for example. A good or a bad logo can make or break your business.
Think of Apple. Their logo is simple, but iconic, and is the image that most people think of when they think of Apple and any of the services or products they offer. Your logo will affect your branding and brand recognition, it will be the foundation of your brand’s identity, so make it a good one.
Next to logos, slogans are also an important part of branding to consider. When writing a brand slogan, you want something that’s short and sweet, but catchy and has power. Think of Nike’s ‘Just Do it’ or Samsung’s ‘Imagine’ — both are short and simple, but they stick in our heads because they send a strong message.
A slogan isn’t necessary if you are getting too caught up trying to think of one, but it can certainly boost brand recognition. Just remember to keep it succinct. Convey a message with your words, and don’t be cryptic. If your slogan is too mysterious and difficult to understand or connect with your business, then it’s not going to work.
3. Creative Briefs
When you are working on your branding and overall design strategy, such as the imagery you want to use in your marketing, your color schemes, fonts, sounds, etc., it’s helpful if you start by writing a creative brief.
A creative brief is key to having a clear vision that ensures everything you do or every little piece of content you make is cohesive and aligns with your goals. In short, a creative brief lays out all the design details alongside your end goals, key deliverables, and your target audience.
The three most important things that writing a creative brief can help you achieve include:
- Defining the scope of your projects and preventing people from taking on additional deliverables that aren’t necessary.
- Clarify project timelines and ensure everyone is aligned
- Mitigating confusion and helping to answer any questions so everyone is clear on what needs to happen.
To write a creative brief, you should focus on the following:
- Providing detailed brand info and the company’s mission
- Highlight your key challenges and objectives
- Describe your target audience
- Address the competitive landscape, such as who your competitors are, how they are marketing their services, and who their audience is
- Create a detailed timeline for your project
Though detail is good so that everything is clear in the creative brief, it is called a “brief” for a reason. You want to keep it as succinct as possible. If a brief ends up being too wordy, then it won’t be easy to follow or easy to turn to for quick reference. You should also use bullet points, graphs, and other easily digestible formats to make it easier to read and absorb the information.
4. Content and Video Marketing
Content is crucial when it comes to marketing. The more content you produce, the more you will increase your chances of people discovering your brand and your website. However, content should still be about quality over quantity.
Simply churning out loads of content, for example, doesn’t automatically mean you’ll stay ahead. As an IT company especially, your content needs to be engaging and high quality, which means using both video and interactive content along with written content if you really want to make an impact.
Your content marketing strategy should be robust and ensure you are using all available channels. Blogs, emails, landing pages, ebooks, webpage content, social media, podcasts, videos, etc. — you should be distributing content in as many ways as possible to expand your reach and brand awareness.
Your content also needs to be optimized for Google. Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial as it ensures your content ranks in search results so people can more easily find you.
5. Social Media Marketing
These days, social media is a must. There is absolutely no exception. You need to have an active social media presence as today’s primary generation of consumers — millennials and Gen Z — spend a significant amount of time on social media. Apps like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter are now how the majority of audiences discover new brands and products. So if you want buyers to know about you and be interested in what you’re offering, you must be engaging with them on social media.
Below are some IT social media marketing tips to help you ramp up your social media game:
- Research your target audience and what attracts them on social media
- Define your social media goals, don’t just post without having a plan
- Focus on the most relevant platforms, which today include Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook
- Stay on top of social media content trends
- Create a content calendar to maintain a consistent posting schedule
- Engage with your followers, don’t just post and then walk away. Reply to their comments, comment on other people’s posts, reshare user-generated content, etc.
Remember to be authentic when posting. Show the “human” side of your business by using humor, for example. Audiences love brands that seem more genuine and real, versus those that use language that’s stiff, robotic, and “sales-y.”
The Bottom Line
In order to keep up with the rapid growth that is occurring in the IT industry, having a solid marketing strategy is an absolute must. Your marketing needs to be well-researched, thorough, and engaging if you want to grab your audience’s attention and keep them interested. Know your audience well, know your competition even better, and have a clear vision for what you want to achieve with your marketing. And remember that consistency is key. You must always be updating and posting new content to stay ahead and ensure your brand is always on your consumers’ minds.
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